Re: [DML] Frame damage - PLEASE read the important note! (was:Battery f
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Re: [DML] Frame damage - PLEASE read the important note! (was:Battery for Delorean)

Hi Dennis

> Sorry to hear your bad news.
> Did the balljoint fail or the control arm break around the joint?
> How bad was the frame damaged?
> Dennis

The ball joint has failed with no warning. It just came apart. Because of 
the design of the car when that joint came apart the lower control arm was 
forced down by the weight of the car. It managed to scrape the wheel a bit 
and then it landed on the ground. With all the weight on it and with the car 
still moving forward it pulled the control arm back far enough to actually 
bend the frame right where the control arm is attached to it. The control 
arm itself got bent and twisted. The frame is probably fixable, but since it 
needs so much work I decided to make a new frame to replace the OEM, but 
this time out of stainless steel.
The ball joint was NOT DeLorean specific, but some cross reference part. It 
did not have a snap ring on it. I installed them no more than about 5k miles 
earlier. Got them with the car and didn't realize that there might be a 
problem with that.

It turns out that there are TWO kinds of lower ball joints. One kind, the 
OEM kind is designed to carry all the weight of the car and will not come 
apart for no reason. This ball joint has a snap ring on it and AFAIK they 
are DeLorean specific.
The other kind of the lower ball joint is the kind that is used on most cars 
today and is NOT designed to carry any weight. It is there to hold the wheel 
hub with the control arm. Side-to-side forces is all that they will survive. 
When installed in a DeLorean they WILL come apart without warning soon after 
being installed.
Good thing I was only going about 5 - 10 mph. I can't even imagine what 
would happen if the joint would come apart at highway speed.....
DON'T CROSS REFERENCE THOSE JOINTS!!!! Get them from your favorite DeLorean 
vendor. This part is VERY important and cross referenced joints are not 
designed to take the loads experienced in the DeLorean.

Tom Niemczewski
vin 6149 (in Poland!)

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